|President Truman purportedly authorized "Operation Majestic Twelve" with this 1947 letter.|
MJ-12 - We Are Not Alone ... Or Are We?September 25, 2007
1947: If the secret committee known as the Majestic 12 ever really existed, this is the day that the group was allegedly created by a memorandum from President Harry Truman.
If real, this shadowy coven of scientists, military brass and government officials came together in response to the Army's recovery of an alien spacecraft that crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947. Their purpose: to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Roswell incident and to maintain vigilance against further alien incursions.
Among the names who appear as original members of MJ-12: Rear Adm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter, first director of the CIA; Dr. Vannevar Bush, who headed the wartime Office of Scientific Research and Development; and James Forrestal, secretary of defense.
Confirming the existence of MJ-12 is central to the argument by UFO conspiracy theorists that the U.S. government has deliberately hidden UFO information from the public ever since Roswell. The government, whether irritated by the crazies who won't leave it alone or genuinely interested in keeping the presence of aliens under wraps, has consistently denied MJ-12's existence and dismissed UFO reports as mistaken identity or hoaxes (.pdf).
The military continues to maintain that the wreckage retrieved at the Roswell ranch came from a top-secret research balloon.
That explanation has never flown with UFO watchers, who have produced a mountain of evidence purporting to prove that not only does MJ-12 exist, but there's a really big cover-up going on. (Forrestal's untimely death in 1949, officially ruled a suicide, has helped fuel the fire.)
Sixty years on, and the argument still rages.
If nothing else, the furor has helped fuel some entertaining "Alien Autopsy" headlines in such august periodicals as the National Enquirer.